Introduced today, Oracle's new Database Vault takes database security a step further by providing more granular control over access privileges. The product can help with regulatory compliance and mitigate threats from company insiders.

Database Vault uses realms and rules where realms encapsulate applications and database objects and rules provide privilege control based on IP addresses, time of day, authentication, and system identities. Oracle said that the new security mechanisms can help limit even administrative access to information, which is useful in complying with Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Japan's Personal Information Protection Act and the European Union Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive.

"Oracle is the only company poised to deliver database security technology that customers can use to prevent unauthorized administrator access to sensitive information," said Andy Mendelsohn, senior vice president of Oracle Database Server Technologies. "With Oracle Database Vault, organizations can easily increase the security level of an existing application without changing the application and still maintain high levels of performance. This improves security throughout the enterprise and helps reduce risks posed by insider threats."

Several companies, including BearingPoint, Protiviti, ArcSight, LogicalApps, Lumigent, Mantas, Tripwire and Vormetric, intend to use Database Vault as part of their respective consulting and risk management practices or as part of their portfolio of offerings.

Ken Keeler, vice president at Tripwire, maker of change audit software, said his company intends to use the product to complement Tripwire Enterprise. "Compliance requires proof that change audit records are secure and uncompromised. Oracle Database Vault delivers an additional layer of security around Tripwire's change audit data, essentially putting it under lock and key."

Oracle also announced the availability of its new Secure Backup, which is targeted at those companies who backup to tape. The product, which encrypts data written to tape, works with Oracle Databases and various file systems on Linux, UNIX and Windows platforms and supports over 200 different tape devices. Oracle said Secure Backup achieves a very fast backup speed by directly reading block layout structures of Oracle databases, which is used to to optimize data access.

"With Oracle Secure Backup, we're delivering a low-cost, high-performance alternative to the complex backup products on the market," said Andy Mendelsohn, senior vice president, Database Server Technologies, Oracle. "The Oracle Database already includes comprehensive disk backup and disaster recovery technology. With the introduction of Oracle Secure Backup, Oracle now offers a complete data protection solution."

Database Vault will be available Oracle Database beginning with Oracle Database 10g Release 2. The product will cost $20,000 per CPU or $400 per user. The company expects to make the product available for Linux platforms within the next 30 days and for Solris and Windows during the first half of the company's 2007 fiscal year.

Secure Backup works with Oracle9i Database and later versions. Pricing is set at $3,000 per physical tape drive. Oracle is also offering an express edition that is free for systems with a single tape drive.